By: Jake Vaive
Coming out to your parents as Offbeat is definitely one of the hardest parts of being Offbeat. But, it doesn’t always have to be so challenging. Here are 7 easy steps to help you let your parents know about the Offbeater deep inside of you:
1. Start speaking in riddles.
If they don’t give you the correct answer, don’t respond until they figure it out. This is a perfect introductory step to gauge if your parents can handle your Offbeat-ness – if they can’t figure out a few riddles, what makes them think they can navigate your complex mosaic of identities?
2. Collect some used envelopes (you can probably find some in your neighbor’s mailbox).
Remove the contents. Write a new letter addressed to your parents. Describe the moment you met them. Use the return address as your own, as if you are sending the letter from that address. Sign it with your neighbor’s name. Then send the letter. If your parents didn’t know you were Offbeat before, they definitely will now.
3. Consistently remind your parents that you’re Offbeat.
Seems a little straightforward, but you must remember this crucial step: communicate it to them via the bathroom mirror and your mother’s red lipstick. You aren’t allowed to say the word “Offbeat” out loud.
4. My personal favorite: hire your local church’s choir to follow you around and narrate your every action via song.
Your parents are sure to enjoy this one. Who doesn’t enjoy the pleasantries of an elderly choir in their very own living room? This is sure to signify your Offbeat-ness to your folks.
5. Adopt a few cats.
Except not just a few. For the desired effect of proclaiming Offbeat-ness without physically declaring Offbeat-ness, you might need at least 15 tabbies roaming through your home – without your parent’s’ consent, of course. Offbeaters never ask for permission.
6. Dress up like your mom for a couple of days.
Yes, this includes imitating her voice, and you might have to borrow a few pairs of her underwear. Seriously, do it. This is the easiest and fastest way to tell your parents, “Hey! I’m Offbeat. So what?” If you’ve got a cool mom, maybe you can paint each other’s nails and gossip about your father – if you don’t have a mom to impersonate, just make up your own character! How Offbeat of you.
7. If your parents begin to question all of these Offbeat activities, this next step is sure to get them off of your back: book them a room (using their credit card) in Iceland.
Offer to drive the both of them to the store one evening, but secretly drive them to the airport, hand them their tickets, and lead them through security. (note: this step might be most effective if they’re blindfolded). Once they are in Iceland, don’t answer their phone calls. Just pick them up at the airport the day they’re scheduled to arrive, and don’t answer any questions about what happened, and especially don’t ask them any questions about the trip.
These 7 steps are sure to help you come out to your parents as Offbeat. Remember, these are the steps that worked for me – feel free to improvise. Church choirs might be hard to come by – especially after these tips are published – but you can always substitute with your own singing voice, or check out your university’s open mic night to find a suitable artist to narrate your day. The most important thing is to never say the word “Offbeat” out loud – let them figure it out for themselves! Happy Offbeating.